Gents Cafe - Richard Tyler Interview
One of our founders Richard Tyler recently had the pleasure of been interviewed by Gents Cafe - the fantastic bite-sized Newsletter on Men’s Lifestyle to enjoy reading over a nice cup of coffee or tea.
Meet Mr. Richard Tyler from the Cathedral City of Lichfield in Staffordshire, UK.
He is the Director and one of the founders of Tyler & Tyler (@tylerandtylerbham), a British Men’s Fashion Accessory Company part of his family-controlled business which has been manufacturing in Birmingham, England since 1908.
Richard, how do you define your style?
As I’ve got older, I would say my style has become more classic. I tend to now see clothes as an investment piece, I buy garments that will last – so my style has a timeless element to it. Of course, with what I do for a living, I never leave the house without an accessory or two as part of my look. To me, a good accessory game is what can set you apart and make you stand out from the crowd.
What does it mean for you to be a Modern Gentleman?
Simply put, for me the essence of being a modern gentleman is to treat others how you expect to be treated yourself. With this ethos, I don’t think you can go far wrong in life. I believe a modern gentleman lives life to the full – Carpe Diem! Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
When it comes to style, where do you mostly get your inspiration from?
I would say in my younger days, like most guys, my style was defined by the music I was into. I loved a Birmingham band called Ocean Colour Scene in the nineties – their style and music were heavily influenced by The Small Faces. I remember going to an Ocean Colour Scene gig and looking around the venue – it was a male-dominated audience – we all had military jackets on, drainpipe trousers, and suede chukka boots. It really was a tribe style.
With age, I’ve developed my own personal style. Instead of music influencing my style, it’s more people I admire now who inspire me. My father wears a suit, shirt and tie to work everyday. He always puts together a good colour palette with textures and patterns. My one grandfather always looked immaculate: he wore a shirt and tie no matter what the occasion and then my other grandfather had a real flair to mix sartorial and casual together in his look – so he would wear a pair of tailored trousers with a bold coloured shirt – cuffs rolled up slightly with the collar unbuttoned – I suppose his style had Italian sentiments to it, it was both elegant and effortless.
I think the combined principles of these three gents' style has influenced me heavily. Working in menswear means I have a lot of friends in the industry who have great style. So, I often look to my friends for inspiration. Like most guys, I do get inspiration from Instagram, but I would like to think now my style mainly comes from my own ideas. I know what does and doesn’t work for me. For instance, with my body shape and height, I look like a comedy act in high-waist band trousers.
What’s your personal style signifier?
My Signet Ring. It was given to me by my parents on my 21st Birthday. Bit of a tradition in the Tyler family that you become a true man at 21 and this is celebrated with the gift of a signet ring. My ring was made for me in Birmingham by the same company who produce signet rings for all the males in the British Royal Family. The ring is deep engraved with my initials RMT and bears the Birmingham Assay Hallmark. Personal preference, I’m not a fan of wearing more than one ring so when it came to getting married instead of me having a wedding ring, my beautiful wife Emma presented me with my signet ring on our big day, which I had engraved on the inside with my wife’s initials and the date of our wedding. I wear the ring every day – I’m often complimented on it which is nice. To me, the signet ring is the sign of a true gent – elegant and timeless.
What are your favorite wardrobe essentials?
My vintage Navy Double Breasted Blazer which was originally my Grandfather’s. I had my favourite Tyler & Tyler Brass Blazer Buttons put on it. I love wearing it – it’s like a suit of armour to me, just putting it on, gives me a real boost of confidence. It really is a wardrobe staple that I believe every gent should own, due to its versatility. Looks great with a shirt and tie, with an open-neck denim shirt, with a roll-neck jumper, polo shirt or Breton stripe t-shirt.
My vintage made in England Real Sheepskin Coat. It’s just an epic piece of kit. Looks great with a smart sartorial look or with a casual look with a piece of knitwear, jeans and boots.
My Guncheck Moon Cloth Sports Jacket – just a great classic jacket that can be dressed up or dressed down. I am a big fan of good shoes – my shoe collection is pretty vast. I especially love a suede loafer. Fellow Gents Cafe Community member and friend James Hughes (@thebathgent) recently sorted me out with a stunning pair of Loake Russell DKS Chocolate Brown Suede Tassel Loafers which are part of their 1880 Classic Collection.
What are your main passions and how do you cultivate them?
Aside from family, design and clothes, my main passions in life are music, art and architecture. Whenever I visit a new place I will always take in the architecture around me and if there is an art gallery on hand I will pay it a visit. Music is my life passion though – I love listening to it, going to gigs and performing. I have been playing drums since I was 11 years old and gigging since I was 16. Drumming has seen me playing all over the UK – theatres, festivals and private events. I am a huge Beatles nut. For the last 10 years, I have been playing the part of Ringo which saw my band headlining on the main stage of the world-famous Cavern Club, Liverpool in 2017. This really was a dream come true for me and the most memorable, enjoyable gig of my life. Today we’ve hung up our wigs and costumes and we now just concentrate on delivering the sound of the Beatles to audiences as authentically as possible.
What does your ideal Sunday look like?
My ideal Sunday morning starts with an espresso or cappuccino from my coffee machine. Playing with my 4-year-old daughter Isabelle. Going on a family walk with our Westie dog – which would include more coffee with a stop off at my favorite local coffee shop. Cooking a nice lunch. Enjoying lunch with a good bottle of wine then chilling out with a good film. Then in the evening some me time with a good cigar and a Negroni.
Describe an interesting trip you have taken and tell us and what’s the next destination on your bucket list.
Tyler & Tyler has a distributor based in Tokyo, Japan which means I have been fortunate enough to be able to go out there a few times now. There really is nowhere quite like it in the world. On first arrival to Tokyo, it really is a huge assault on the senses which at first is quite daunting. As a cityscape you can certainly draw similarities to the iconic film Blade Runner. It’s just so different – their culture, the architecture, the food, the business etiquette. You do feel like a bit of an alien when you first go out to explore, but once you’ve settled in, it’s just a fascinating and unique place to be.
Next destination on my bucket list would have to be Havana. The old architecture, abundance of classic cars and live music really attract me.
Tell us what can never be missing in your liquor cabinet.
As you might have gathered I love a Negroni – so it’s Gin, Campari and Vermouth. The key to a good Negroni for me is the Gin and I think a London Dry Gin really works. My go-to on that front is Bombay Sapphire.
What are your three favorite books?
I have to be honest and say I am not a big reader. My mind is too busy – I think it’s the creative side of me, but it just means I can’t sit and get lost in a good book.
My book collection mainly consists of Coffee Table-style books that feature shorter pieces of writing and amazing photography.
My favorite three are:
Gentleman A Timeless Fashion by Bernhard Roetzel.
I’ve got the latest edition of the book, but I have many fond memories of thumbing through the first edition of the book as a university student when I came home in the holidays. With its bright red cover the book stood out proudly on my father’s bookshelf in his study. I would look through it and think to myself this is the blueprint of how I need to carry myself when I graduate and get out there into the big wide world. It’s a fantastic book and I still regularly seek guidance from it.
This book was published to accompany the fantastic Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A Museum in 2015. The exhibition absolutely blew me away – so the book was an absolute must-have.
Cavern Club – The Official Authorised Anniversary Limited Edition Book.
In 2018 the year after I played The Cavern Club, the owners published a fantastic book about the history of the club. The first hundred or so people that pre-ordered the book got to have their name published in the acknowledgments – so to have my memories of the gig and the book with my name in is pretty special to me.
What are your three favorite movies?
In no particular order…
28 Days Later
I think this was the first film to be shot digitally – the cinematography and underlying message of the story are brilliant.
Just a great movie documenting his amazing career and legacy.
Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road
A heartwarming and brutally honest film celebrating the life of the living legend musical genius.
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